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A02 – Cross-talk between dying and bystander cells in vitro and in vivo: an optogenetics approach

Ana J. Garcia-Saez

Institute for genetics, CECAD, University of Cologne
Contact: garcia-office(at)uni-koeln.de
For more information see: Garcia-Saez lab

Manolis Pasparakis

Institute for genetics, CECAD, University of Cologne
Contact: pasparakis(at)uni-koeln.de
For more information see: Pasparakis lab


Currently available tools do not allow studying the cross-talk between dying and bystander cells in a spatially and temporally resolved manner. The project aims to develop optogenetically regulated systems allowing the precisely controlled induction of different forms of cell death at a single cell level and use them to study the cross-talk between dying and bystander cells in vitro and in vivo. By employing selective light-controlled activation of different death effectors, this project will study how the different types of cell death shape tissue responses and the underlying mechanisms.

Recent Publications


Czabotar, P.E. and Garcia-Saez, A.J. (2023) Mechanisms of BCL-2 family proteins in mitochondrial apoptosis. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. doi: 10.1038/s41580-023-00629-4

Rieger, J., Fitz, M., Fischer, S.M., Wallmeroth, N., Flores-Romero, H., Fischer, N.M., Brand, L.H., García-Sáez, A.J., Berendzen, K.W. and Mira-Rodado, V. (2023) Exploring the Binding Affinity of the ARR2 GARP DNA Binding Domain via Comparative Methods. Genes (Basel). doi: 10.3390/genes14081638

Röck, B.F., Shalaby, R. and García-Sáez, A.J. (2023) Pyroptosis Induction and Visualization at the Single-Cell Level Using Optogenetics. Methods Mol Biol. 2696, 135-147. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-3350-2_10 (review)

Pedrera, L., Ros, U. and García-Sáez, A.J. (2023) Calcium as a master regulator of ferroptosis and other types of regulated necrosis. Cell Calcuim 114, 102778 . doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ceca.2023.102778

Shalaby, R., Diwan, A., Flores-Romero, H., Hertlein, V., and Garcia Saez, A.J. (2023). Visualization of BOK pores independent of BAX and BAK reveals a similar mechanism with differing regulation. Cell Death Differ 30, 731–741 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41418-022-01078-w


Cosentino, K., Hertlein, V., Jenner, A., Dellmann, T., Gojkovic, M., Peña-Blanco, A., Dadsena, S., Wajngarten, N., Danial, J.S.H., Thevathasan, J.V., Mund, M., Ries, J., Garcia-Saez, A.J. (2022) The interplay between BAX and BAK tunes apoptotic pore growth to control mitochondrial-DNA-mediated inflammation. Molecular Cell 82, 1-17, February 17, 2022 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2022.01.008


Flores-Romero, H., Hohorst, L., John, M., Albert, M.-C., King, L.E., Beckmann, L., Szabo, T., Hertlein, V., Luo, X., Villunger, A., Frenzel, L.P., Kashkar, H., & Garcia-Saez, A.J. (2021) BCL-2-family protein tBID can act as a BAX-like effector of apoptosis. The EMBO Journal (2021) e108690 DOI10.15252/embj.2021108690


Pedrera, L., Espiritu, R., A., Ros, U., Weber, J., Schmitt, A., Stroh, J., Hailfinger, S., von Karstedt, S., García-Sáez, A., J. (2020) Ferroptotic pores induce Ca 2+ fluxes and ESCRT-III activation to modulate cell death kinetics. Cell Death Differ Dec 17. doi: 10.1038/s41418-020-00691-x

Flores‐Romero, H., Ros, U., Garcia-Saez, A.J. (2020) Pore formation in regulated cell death. EMBO J (2020)e105753 https://doi.org/10.15252/embj.2020105753

Project related Publications